Thursday. I should have been at work, but had called in sick to take care of my daughter, who was on day #2 of a fever, cough, and, as of 5 a.m. Thursday morning, vomiting. Two days at home, and I was already feeling claustrophobic. I spent several hours following the puke parade throughout the house, alternately rubbing a tiny back and bleaching the hell out of non-porous surfaces. But the moment I was sure she could hold down a few bites of applesauce? I called in my grandma. I really did need to go to the store…7-Up and saltine crackers weren’t going to magically purchase themselves and appear on my door step. But what I really needed was to MOVE.
I promised both my daughter and my grandma I would be back in one hour. This gave me exactly 30 minutes on the trail near my house. Not much for time, but beggars can’t be choosers. And it turns out it didn’t even matter. Some days, it doesn’t matter if I do two miles or ten, because it’s all about the mental release that comes from getting outside, plugging in to my newly formed playlist, and taking off. Clearly, 2.5 miles in 30 minutes is not setting any breakneck speed records, but as I rounded the last loop in to the parking lot to finish up, I felt like I had just completed a long-prepared-for race. I was ready now to head back to the puke parade.
My mellow feeling stayed with me as I pulled in to the Safeway parking lot. Good thing, too, because as I got out of the car, I happened to glance down to see a misfired snot rocket now congealed on my pant leg. As I hastily swiped at the spot with a tissue, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty. My short hair, unshowered as of yet, rose up in a funnel, making me look like Arsenio Hall. I was a hot mess. And I was going out in public. Oh well.
As I zipped up and down the aisles of the store, grabbing supplies for my sick kid (saltines) and myself (iced americano), I passed an older man who chuckled as I passed by. I shrugged this off, I had seen myself in the mirror! But as I nearly left the aisle, he called after me “I love your shirt!”. I looked down. My short sleeved gray running top proclaimed to the world that I am a Badass Mother Runner.
Oh yes. I felt badass alright. Snot on my pants, no shower, running the aisles of Safeway faster than I had run the outside trail 15 minutes before…good thing those mellow feel-good endorphins were still pumping through my body.